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31 May 2009

Abortion Doctor Shot Dead, Suspect In Custody

Ugh.
[George Tiller], 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation.

Tiller was serving as an usher at the church, one of six ushers listed in the church bulletin. He was handing out bulletins to people going into the sanctuary minutes before being shot.
In case you don't know who George Tiller is -- check out his Wikipedia page.

I don't care what your opinion on abortion is. There is no excuse for an act like this. Zero.

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30 May 2009

Toy Story 3


Well, it's about time! ... even though it's only the teaser trailer. (My kids are literally freaking out right now. I can't wait for 2010...)

Head nod: /Film

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Smart Move, Congressman

Open and honest indeed:
U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, of Oklahoma, checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California on Thursday night for treatment for alcohol addiction, according to a written statement from his office.

Sullivan, a Republican from Tulsa, said in the statement that he will be taking a leave of absence from Congress while he seeks treatment.

"I value my relationship with the citizens of Oklahoma's First Congressional District, whom I am privileged and honored to have served for the past eight years," Sullivan said in the statement, released Friday evening. "So, I wanted to be open and honest on this tough situation."
Tell everyone the 'scandalous' news before TMZ's Washington Bureau gets a hold of it. Smart PR. Smart politics.

Also: a very smart move for someone dealing with alcoholism. The first step is admitting that you have a problem...

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Tweet Of The Day


"Saturday at the palace would be a real drag without the Playstation 3 or Wii." -JabbaTheHutt

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Saturday Morning Cartoon

Finish up that bowl of Life Cereal (Mikey Likes It!) -- it's cartoon time!



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29 May 2009

Music To Start Your Weekend


You Give Me Something - Jamiroquai

Now go have a weekend.

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Advertising Assassination

Classy:
WARREN, Pa. - A northwestern Pennsylvania newspaper is apologizing for running a classified advertisement calling for the assassination of President Barack Obama.

Warren Times Observer Publisher John Elchert says the ad appeared Thursday. It read, "May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!" The four presidents were all assassinated.

Elchert tells The Associated Press that the newspaper's advertising staff didn't make the historical connection.

He says the newspaper turned information over to police and that the Secret Service is investigating the person who placed the ad.

A note in Friday's paper says the newspaper "apologizes for the oversight."
Oversight indeed. A new story about the ad in from the Warren Times Observer is here. Do read the comments...

Head nod: GirlOfWords

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Department Of Cool Photos


President Barack Obama delivers a speech in front of solar panels at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

------
Photo: Isaac Brekken/AP Photo

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More Nukes From North Korea?

I hear sabres rattling...
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A news report says North Korea has test-fired another short-range missile off its east coast.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency did not provide any details about the reported launch Friday.

The launch would be the sixth short-range missile North Korea has test-fired since its nuclear test on Monday.

Officials could not immediately confirm the report.
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McCain Endorses Whitman

For California governor:
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will endorse former eBay executive Meg Whitman Friday for governor of California, a Whitman spokesman said.

Although Whitman hasn't officially announced her candidacy, McCain will endorse the Republican at a town hall meeting in Orange County and then join her in Fresno for a news conference. Whitman's spokesman Mitch Zak said that McCain's support "continues the campaign's momentum."
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Maybe You Shouldn't Buy That


Via MaybeYouShouldntBuyThat.com, whose caption says:
Often times, I’m left to wonder why my bed is grounded to the floor like a commoner. Thank the skies for heroes like Jan Jaap Ruijssenaars and his magnetic floating bed, priced at $1.54 million. Nothing will make your erecticle dysfunction as a result of magnet poisoning quite as exciting as floating inches above the ground. Welcome to tomorrow!
Bookmark that site. Good stuff.

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The Car Dealership Cunundrum

I've been reading a lot of conservative bloggers forwarding this meme that somehow the Obama administration is 'firing' car dealers who support Republicans and 'retaining' car dealers who support Democrats. Malkin has even dubbed it 'DealerGate'.

I know. It sounds crazy, no?

Nate Silver weighs in:
A meme that is currently picking up traction in the conservative blogosphere is that the list of dealerships to be shuttered as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy contains a disproportionate number donors to Republican candidates. There have been furious efforts to prove this contention by looking up campaign contributor lists at the Huffington Post, Open Secrets, and other places.

There is just one problem with this theory. Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren't being closed. It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats -- not just those who are having their doors closed.
Take a look at Nate's findings here.

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Another Strike Against Scientology

On editing Wikipedia:
Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology and its members from editing its site after discovering that members of the church were editing articles in order to give the church favorable coverage.

The move is being hailed as "an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits," and it is the first instance in which Wikipedia has banned a group as large as the Church of Scientology.
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Steele:'Stop Slammin' And Rammin'

The RNC Chairman weighs-in on his conservative brethren's disdain for Sonia Sotomayor:
RNC chair Michael Steele, guest-hosting on Bill Bennett’s radio show early this morning, repeatedly distanced himself from Republicans and conservatives who have been harshly attacking Sonia Sotomayor, saying the assault risked damaging the party.

[snip]

In what seemed like an effort to distance the party from claims that Sotomayor is “racist” and an “Affirmative Action” pick, Steele repeatedly said that Republicans should be hailing the historic nature of Obama’s pick.

“I’m excited that a Hispanic woman is in this position,” Steele said. He added that instead of “slammin’ and rammin’” on Sotomayor, Republicans should “acknowledge” the “historic aspect” of the pick and make a “cogent, articulate argument” against her for purely substantive reasons.

Steele warned that because of the attacks, “we get painted as a party that’s against the first Hispanic woman” picked for the Supreme Court.
Exit question: Why does Michael Steele 'guest host' for Bill Bennett so much? One would think that if Steele would cool it with the radio gig, many of his verbal gaffes would be averted.

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Hard Wuerk


-M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

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Lincoln Letter Found

Very cool:
An extremely valuable letter by Abraham Lincoln dated November 14, 1863 -- missing from public records for maybe 100 years -- has been donated today by a private collector to the National Archives.


The brief note on Executive Mansion letterhead in the President's handwriting signed "A.Lincoln" was sent to Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase. It was written five days before Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, providing insight into the president's regard for a personal friend and his interest in West Coast politics even in the midst of the Civil War.

National Archivists discovered the Lincoln letter being sold online in 2006. It originally had been torn or fallen from an 1880 bound volume of government correspondence to the Treasury Department. There is no evidence that the letter was ever stolen, and how it went missing remains a mystery.
I always find it fascinating to read what people were thinking at these critical points in history. If you are in D.C. anytime soon, you really should check out the Lincoln exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum Of American History. Good stuff.

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Tom Tancredo: 'La Raza = KKK'


Wow. Allahpundit makes a great case for Tancredo to, well, shut up:
Three things here. First, I’ve fed Olby enough crap sandwiches over the years for comparing conservative pundits and Fox News to jihadis not to let Tanc get away with the equivalent. Unless they’re making bombs, it’s always poor form to compare your opponents to terrorists. Second, he’s simply wrong on the facts. As HuffPo notes, it’s not La Raza whose motto is “All for the race. Nothing for the rest,” it’s MEChA (“For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.”). There are links between the two groups — this 2006 Human Events piece by Charlie Norwood is essential — but La Raza’s considerably more mainstream than MEChA, which calls for the reclamation of the American southwest by Latinos. Third, I realize that any concession to electoral reality is disdained by “true conservatives” as the hallmark of a squishy RINO, but with Republicans nervous about alienating Hispanic voters by confronting Sotomayor, how wise is it for the most vociferous amnesty opponent in America to be doing the rounds on cable news throwing verbal grenades like this? You worked hard in Congress for a long time, Tanc. Take a break.
Indeed.

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Cornyn Disagrees

It's good to know that Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh do not dictate opinion to ALL Republicans:
Senate Republicans meanwhile have largely withheld judgment on Sotomayor, though many — including Cornyn — have taken issue with some of her past statements and rulings.

"We are all a product of our upbringing and who we are and I think it’s a fact people do have different backgrounds, but I don't think those background ought to determine what the law is," [Senator John Cornyn] said to NPR of Sotomayor's Berkeley comments.

The NRSC chief also brushed off the Limbaugh and Gingrich statements while noting neither man holds an elected office.

"Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it’s appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it’s wrong," he said.
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Quween's Celebrity Protection Service


'You better watch your back alpha-bits!'

Head nod: Pam101

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Note To Self: Don't F**k With HotAir

They're not messing around...

First, read yesterday's story. Now, watch Bill O'Reilly give a halfish-apology:


Let the HotAir rebuttal begin...

Allahpundit:
Yes, he concedes, the quote last night should have been specifically attributed to a commenter, not to the site itself — but that’s what we get for letting stuff like that be posted, now isn’t it? Do a better job of moderating comments and we won’t have this problem. He’s been making this argument for years, usually when ripping on Kos, without any apparent sense of what kind of comment load blogs with big traffic deal with. Between Ed’s and my 20-25 posts plus the 40 or so Headline items, Hot Air must get, let’s say, 2,700 comments a day. To put that in perspective, if I worked 15 hours a day doing nothing but moderating them, in order to read and rule on each one I’d have to work at a clip of three comments per minute without taking a single break. That is to say, we’d need not one but two full-time moderators to do the job right, the cost of which would bankrupt nearly any blog given the realities of online ad revenue, especially in a recession. Add to that the endless headaches involved in deciding whether a given comment’s over the line and the inevitable haphazard, arbitrary standards we’d end up imposing on readers and it’s simply not worth it. Frequently we’ll get tips alerting us to really nasty stuff, like racist cracks or death threats, which we promptly clean up, but by and large, if other readers are willing to let a comment pass without mention — stupid and/or distasteful though they may find it — we’re willing too. There’s just too much else to do.
Ed Morrissey:
O’Reilly explained that he was forced into smearing us because we don’t spend our entire day reading comments instead of writing, unlike the responsible folks at his offices, who apparenly police their site in order to make sure that nothing appears on his site that Bill doesn’t personally approve.

That’s absurd, for all the reasons that Allahpundit explained last night, but Patterico decided to put that claim to the test. He signed up for the O’Reilly Factor membership and started perusing their site. He found a couple of examples of Bill O’Reilly’s endorsed political stands (according to the standards he applied to Hot Air, of course). For instance, Bill apparently stands by the accusation that Mary Cheney commits bestiality:
How does Mary Cheney getting married hurt anyone?

How does Mary Cheney getting married to a goat hurt anyone?

Just an example here Chase, don’t get all bent out of shape just because it’s against your morality to marry a goat……………
It’s right there on his website, after all. That website has Bill O’Reilly’s name on it. According to Bill O’Reilly Standards and Practices, that means he endorses it.
O'Reilly was right to point out that it was a commenter that he was citing -- not HA staff bloggers. Good. But for him to continue this meme that blogs should police or edit every comment is abso-smurfly insane (just look at Allahpundit's numbers). Bill O's problem is that he has used this type of logic over and over again to verbally smack the DailyKoses out there as being 'hateful' and 'vile' websites. But he is stuck because he cannot hold right-wing blogs to a different standard.

The major flaw in his thinking is that these websites (DKos, HotAir, Freep, et al) condone what the commenters are saying. That just isn't true. Nearly every political blog and website that I have ever seen has something like this:
The Pajama Pundit has no obigation to monitor, edit, censor, or take responsibility for comments. ThePajamaPundit.com may or may not act upon a violation of its comment policy once a suspected violation has been brought to its attention. Therefore, commenters are solely responsible for the content of their comments and should ensure that that their comments are lawful and fall within the stated guidelines of both ThePajamaPundit.com.
It's called covering your ass folks. And the irony is that O'Reilly's site is no different than any of the rest is not lost on anyone...

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What have we come to?

From the Associated Press...
LOS ANGELES — An openly gay teen was voted prom queen at Los Angeles' Fairfax High School in a campaign that began as a stunt but ended up spurring discussion on the campus about gender roles and teen popularity. Sergio Garcia, 18, was crowned queen Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "I feel invincible," Garcia said in his tiara and charcoal-gray tuxedo. A few days earlier, he gave a speech that won over some cynics and led to an ovation and his unlikely victory. "At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it's no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes," Garcia told a gymnasium full of seniors. "I'm not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye." Garcia assured the crowd he wouldn't wear a dress on prom night. "I will be wearing a suit," he said. "But don't be fooled, deep down I am a queen."
Now I know I may not be the most sensitive guy around... but does anyone want to tell this human being he is a BOY! He was born with the "PARTS" of a man? He is NOT a "QUEEN". Queens and Princesses are WOMEN...Kings and Princes are MEN.

We have lost our minds in this country by thinking this kind of behavoir is acceptable. Common Sense and Truth are out the window.

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Quote Of The Day

"[W]hen a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position.

[...]

"But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, 'You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.'

[...]

"And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account." -wait for it.... Justice Samuel Alito during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings in 2006.

So, what is the conservative argument against Judge Sotomayor again?

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28 May 2009

Bing


Microsoft's new search engine (dubbed 'The Google Killer' by some in the Twitterverse). Check it out here.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talks waaay too much about Bing (and other stuff) here.

Personally, I don't think that anything will ever 'kill' The Google. But, if anybody is going to try -- it seems plausible that Microsoft is the company that would be up to the job.

Come on techies... what say you?

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A Conservative With Buyer's Remorse

And she's probably not alone:
Admittedly, I was one of the moderate conservatives who was wooed by Obama during his PR campaign to become the country's next president. Sadly, even though I was still unsure of my vote until the week before the election, I know better now. I truly had no idea he would turn out to be the radical tax and spend liberal he's revealed. Since the beginning of his presidency, Obama seems more interested in making policies and decisions that grab headlines than those in the best interests of the country. The announcement of his whopping $3 trillion budget, trailing the $800 billion bank bailout, was shocking and yet the media seemed to rally around him. The president wants to do everything at one time, national healthcare, economy, taxes (wealth redistribution), clean energy, infrastructure, education and more. He acts very king-like, expecting Congress to endorse everything he floats their way, but his high octane PR strategy--loaded with smiles and good oratory may be fading.
The rest is here. I see her point -- but don't agree with most of it... yet.

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NOM Needs A Proof Reader


'Say no to same sex marraige'. Oops. It seems to me that if you are talking about a controversial subject, to which you have a very vocal group of opponents, getting things like grammar and spelling correct should be a priority. Otherwise, you give your opponents easy fodder with which they can use to attack you.

The full video -- with corrected spelling -- is here.

Head nod: Jason Linkins

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Politics Aside, Dennis Miller Isn't Funny


"Sorry. That's my Sonia Sotomayor joke."

Yes Dennis. You should be. The 'humor' tag is weeping quietly...

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Hard Wuerk


-M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

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The Specter Of Defeat

Arlen Specter is dropping in the polls:
A new poll of Pennsylvania voters suggests that Sen. Arlen Specter's lead over his most likely Republican challenger in next year's re-election battle is shrinking.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday indicates that Specter tops former Rep. Pat Toomey by nine points, 46 percent to 37 percent. That's down from a 20 point lead that Specter held over Toomey in Quinnipiac's previous poll, which was released at the beginning of May, around the time that Specter switched from a Republican to a Democrat.

The poll suggests that Specter would top Rep. Joe Sestak 50 percent to 21 percent in a probable Democratic primary matchup. On Wednesday, Sestak announced that he would challenge Specter as long as his family goes along with the decision. The poll was conducted before Sestak's decision was announced.
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Getting Biblical On Conservatives

Erick Erickson at RedState sums up the conservative in-fighting:Peter denied Christ three times. Our goal should be to not deny Christ and also to not
deny the valuable members of our own movement. Embracing them does not mean we embrace every word and every deed. But it should likewise mean we don’t race to the nearest microphone to condemn our own when they do something indiscrete. The people we should shun are the ones who are quick to throw the rest of us out for daring to stand up for our friends.

The vultures in our mist are typically the ones squawking loudest about other conservatives instead of the leftists out to destroy the country.

As Rush Limbaugh says, we should always play on offense. The moment the left gets us to start wringing our hands over one of our own is the moment they advance. The corollary is that the moment one of our own gets us to start wringing our hands over another within the movement is the moment we surrender.
He makes sense. Otherwise, the problems for the GOP only get bigger. I think that Random Accuracy raised a good point here yesterday when he said:
honestly, with all the infighting in the GOP, what are the odds it's going to split or be renamed? We need more than 2 main parties as it is, perhaps the Libertarians can take in the refugee Republicans and make a strong 3rd party?
Indeed.

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YO, JOE!


In theaters August 7. Sweeeeeet.

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Context

I'm still on the fence about Judge Sonia Sotomayor and her nomination to the Supreme Court. However, the one thing that I keep hearing over and over again in the conservative echo-chamber is her 'racist' quote from 2001:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.
Now, at first glance that statement does indeed raise an eyebrow or two, no doubt. But, every time that I hear a Newt Gingrich or a Tucker Carlson say that Sotomayor is a racist (or at the very least that she spake a racist statement), I think to myself, 'Really? There has got to be more to it than that. Surely, a sitting federal judge would not make racist comments -- in public'.

Sure enough, there is this little thing called context. Here is the full-text of her speech at the Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture in 2001. I would encourage you to read the whole speech, as much of it is quite poignant. We must step outside of the echo-chamber and begin to make decisions for ourselves. Don't let Newt or Rush tell you what to think... read the speech and make up your own mind. Here is the context in which the above quote is found:
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.
However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

I also hope that by raising the question today of what difference having more Latinos and Latinas on the bench will make will start your own evaluation. For people of color and women lawyers, what does and should being an ethnic minority mean in your lawyering? For men lawyers, what areas in your experiences and attitudes do you need to work on to make you capable of reaching those great moments of enlightenment which other men in different circumstances have been able to reach. For all of us, how do change the facts that in every task force study of gender and race bias in the courts, women and people of color, lawyers and judges alike, report in significantly higher percentages than white men that their gender and race has shaped their careers, from hiring, retention to promotion and that a statistically significant number of women and minority lawyers and judges, both alike, have experienced bias in the courtroom?

Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.

There is always a danger embedded in relative morality, but since judging is a series of choices that we must make, that I am forced to make, I hope that I can make them by informing myself on the questions I must not avoid asking and continuously pondering. We, I mean all of us in this room, must continue individually and in voices united in organizations that have supported this conference, to think about these questions and to figure out how we go about creating the opportunity for there to be more women and people of color on the bench so we can finally have statistically significant numbers to measure the differences we will and are making.
All emphases mine.

Now... thoughts?

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The Beginning Of A Conservative Acceptance?

Hugh Hewitt -- who is as conservative as they come -- appears to be making a concession:
...Judge Sotomayor will almost certainly prove to be sharp and charming, intelligent and witty -- because that's what federal appeals court judges are trained to be, and she has been on the bench a very long time. Cryptic references to her temperament by retired clerks eager to be "in the mix" are the worst sort of gossip-dressed-up-as-journalism, and simply lower expectations which she will easily meet and exceed. The judge is obviously a bright and accomplished professional with an enormously appealing personal story which resembles that of Justices Thomas and Alito. This is a great country that allows anyone who works hard to rise, and some to rise spectacularly as has Judge Sotomayor.

All of which is a way of saying that the GOP must be true to its originalist principles without being churlish or even curt. Some on the right will want to use the occasion of President Obama's first nomination to raise money through direct mail appeals, even though there is literally almost no way to stop Judge Sotomayor's confirmation. Activists upset with the recharging of the liberal bloc on SCOTUS should send their money to the Senate campaigns of Rob Simmons in Connecticut, Rob Portman in Ohio, or Bob Beauprex in Colorado, should he declare. Conservative interest groups should spare us the histrionics and work on increasing the number of Republicans in the upper chamber. President Obama will almost certainly have more SCOTUS appointments. Any hope of serious opposition to a nominee requires more Republican senators pure and simple.
So... no filibuster? The whole '...live to fight another day' approach?

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Idiocy Knows No Politics

Bill O'Reilly goes after HotAir.com (of all websites) for criticizing 'Hussein's pick' for the Supreme Court. The only problem is that it was not a writer at HotAir, but rather a commenter who wrote the quote in question. Allahpundit snarks:
Ah, there’s nothing like yanking a comment out of context and using it to smear the entire site, even though neither Ed nor I have ever referred to Obama as “Hussein.” Bonus points to O’R for referring to the comment in question as a “blog posting” even though it’s anything but.
Ed Morrissey adds:
I put Bill O’Reilly in the same category as Alan Colmes, when he accused us of being a Birther site, even though we kept criticizing the people pushing it. Bottom line for me: if the O’Reilly Factor can’t figure out the difference between a blog post and a comment, they have no business opining about the Internet at all.
Stupidity is indeed fair and balanced. Video here.

Look, I'm all for actually trying to be 'fair' or 'balanced' and everything -- but as a blogger myself, I hate it when someone goes after me for something that was said in the comments section of the blog. I am not responsible for the comments -- otherwise I would have deleted half of the comments found here. So, it was a nice try Bill-O -- but you need to read up on the difference between a 'comment' and a 'blog posting'.

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Sestak Will Challenge Specter

Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) confirmed that he’s planning on challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), in an interview this afternoon with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“We have to ask the question will [Specter] be with the right policies that our president has put out there… There’s too much doubt in my mind not to have the intent right now to get in this race, pending just a little time with my family to make sure we’re all together.”

Sestak faces some significant hurdles in challenging Specter in a Democratic primary. The national Democratic establishment, led by President Obama and Gov. Ed Rendell, quickly rallied behind Specter after he announced he was switching parties last month.

Sestak told CNN that he has not spoken with the president since he began mulling a primary challenge to Specter, but received at least one call from Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Robert Menendez.

But Sestak, who told POLITICO earlier this month that even a presidential phone call wouldn’t change his mind about running, appears unswayed by Specter’s prominent backers. He said he still questions whether Specter will be a reliable vote to advance Obama's agenda.
This could shape-up to be an interesting race yet...

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Birthers


...have apparently infiltrated the White House

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A Good Question

FirstRead:
After Senate Republicans took a measured wait-and-see approach to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination after it was announced, we're guessing that these same folks aren't enjoying seeing Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Tom Tancredo leading the charge against her. In the past couple of days, these three men -- in one form or another -- called Sotomayor a racist, and Limbaugh added yesterday that she's an "angry woman." Just sayin’, but these statements probably aren’t what the doctor ordered as the GOP tries to improve its performance with Hispanic and female voters. There’s no doubt that some of Sotomayor’s opinions (like the one regarding the New Haven firefighters) and past speeches (on the “wise Latina woman”) are controversial and warrant scrutiny during the confirmation hearings. But with all signs pointing to the fact that she will be confirmed, is this kind of talk helpful to the GOP?
Remember, Rush Limbaugh is the 'one doing the heavy lifting'...

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I Want This House


I wonder how long it would take me to make $2 million while blogging...

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Quote Of The Day

"[Obama] gets to be the calm at the center of the storm, providing his usual striking contrast to the seething stew of preachers, radio screamers, and Gingrich acolytes who will be making themselves ever more tiresome to Mr. and Mrs. Heartland with their ranting jeremiads. I don't blame conservatives for opposing Sotomayor even though they know that she'd only be replaced by someone equally liberal if they did somehow manage to derail her (liberals did the same with Roberts and Alito, after all), but if they're smart they'll realize that the usual shriekfest is playing right into Obama's hands." -Kevin Drum

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27 May 2009

Oil & Water


Mancow talks to Olbermann.

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The Party Of No Ideas?

Of course...no media coverage on this. BUT...Senate and House Republicans have worked together and Senator Coburn's office has released "THE PATIENT'S CHOICE ACT" in response to the upcoming health care battle in Congress because radical leftists want government oversight on health care...because other government programs like education and medicare and social security are working so well.

The ENTIRE act can be seen here: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d4eab376-d507-4fb9-9f17-8b479a10affc

The media and Democrat leaders will still call Republicans the party of "NO"...but here is proof that maybe the bi-partisan anti-CIA queen of the house is just spouting her mouth off again (because that's the only thing on her face that still moves naturally).

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Recent Comments

...now in the sidebar.

It's down there... go take a look.

I've been agonizing over this for sometime. I removed much of the sidebar for the v2.1 reboot -- and I've always meant on bringing back the recent comments box. However, after much scouring of the Series Of Tubes, I have yet to find a suitable widget (a la WordPress) for the Blogger platform. I've installed what I believe is the next-best-thing.

So -- now all of you frequent commentators can enjoy seeing your words on the front page now.

What are you waiting for? Get to commenting!

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RNC Pulls 'Pelosi Galore'

I mentioned this ad yesterday. According to Ben Smith, the RNC has now pulled the ad down:
The Republican National Committee has pulled from YouTube a video casting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Bond girl Pussy Galore, at one point showing her in the cross-hairs of a gunsight.

The video, "Pelosi Galore," was attacked from the left as sexist, and some Republicans also found it in poor taste.

RNC spokesman Trevor Francis confirned the committee had removed the video but declined to explain why.
Ben Smith still has a version of the ad up at his blog...

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Prop 8 The Sequel

Yesterday's ruling on the constitutionality of the process in which Prop 8 was added to the California Constitution, even though I begrudgingly agree with the ruling, is far from the end of the fight for equality in California or in the US in general.

Saturday an event billed as "Meet in the Middle" will be held in Fresno to kick off the drive to put a repeal initiative on the ballot in 2010.


A new law suit has also been filed, this time by Theodore Olson and David Boies, that claims Prop 8 violates the equal protections clause of the US Constitution. The problem here is that just about every GLBT organization out there is against the idea of taking this to the US Supreme Court and since this is being filed in federal court it could very well end up there. (You might recognize the names as they were the two lawyers that opposed each other in the Gore vs Bush fight in 2000.) I wonder how this could effect the questioning the Sotamayor gets at her confirmation hearings.

I'm personally more included to allow the US Supreme Court fight. I don't feel as if I should have to ask a majority for permission to exercise the civil rights that were promised to me by the US Constitution.

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Quote Of The Day

"When debating judges, I was firm that I would use the same standard to evaluate judges under a Democrat President as I would a Republican President. Are they intellectually competent, do they have a record of integrity, and most importantly, are they committed to following the Constitution rather than creating new law and policy. When I am re-elected, I intend to review Judge Sotomayor's record using this process. Certainly, the nomination of a Hispanic woman to the nation's highest court is something all American's should applaud." -Norm Coleman [my emphasis]

In other news: Norm Coleman appears to have conceded the possibility of defeat to Al Franken...

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Doubly Frightening


Two living, fully-animated skeletons debate Sonia Sotomayor's nomination on Good Morning America.

*shudder*

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Is Powell a Republican?

I love Colin Powell. An American Hero. Intellectual. All around good guy. However...I am curious about Powell lately.

Is Colin Powell welcome in the Republican Party. Yes. Everyone is welcome in the Republican Party...if they want to agree with the Republican Party platform. You can't say you're a Republican and turn around and be a big government, socially liberal, tax and spend Republican. If you are...you'll get tossed from the party (Specter). So the question becomes...is Powell a Republican? Hear me out on this.

What is Colin Powell looking for in a Republican? A Republican who doesnt believe in torture. A Republican who is socially conservative but who sees compassion in his ideas. A Republican who believes in a secure border but who doesnt believe in deportation of 12 million people. A Republican with a great military knowledge. A Republican who has a history of great choices and who has put country before self. A Republican...named John McCain.

But...in 2008...Powell did a 180 from EVERYTHING he has believed in and voted for Barack Obama...and what was his reasoning? Nothing solid. If you look at his reason...it is shallow. It has some "Oprah" emotional reasoning to it. Powell believes in Reagan Republican ideals. What in Barack Obama's platform has any ring of Reagan to it? So the question becomes...is Powell still a Republican?

I can't answer that. Does Colin Powell still believe in Republican ideas? I would hope so. Is he more moderate than Cheney and Limbaugh...yes...but all conservative ideas should be welcome. But why...when Powell had HIS REPUBLICAN candidate in John McCain...would he turn around and vote for Barack Obama?

I haven't heard Powell call out or disagree with Obama yet on anything Obama has done...I am curious how long that will take...if it ever happens.

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Don't Hold Back Rush


Tell us what you really think:
"Here you have a racist - you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said of Sotomayor on his show, alluding to the New York federal appeals court judge's past statement that a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Liberals, "of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism," Limbaugh said according to a transcript on his website. "Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power. ... Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."

Asked about Sotomayor's remark Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that "if you look at the context of the longer speech that she makes, I think what she says is very much common sense in terms of different experiences, different people."

Limbaugh used the line to accuse Sotomayor of being a "party hack," though the radio host conceded that she will likely be confirmed.

"The odds that she could be stopped are long," Limbaugh said, before turning fire on moderate Republicans who he thinks will be "completely useless" in opposing Obama's pick.

"When the rubber hits the road, such as in this nomination, where are these moderate Republican groups on the nomination? Where are the moderate senators? Where is Colin Powell? Where is Tom Ridge?" Limbaugh asked.

"I'm the one doing the heavy lifting. Colin Powell panders to moderate Republicans," he said. "If the moderates in the Republican Party offer no way to address this danger, then they are useless."
"I'm the one doing the heavy lifting." It's all about you, eh Rush? When was the last time you lifted anything heavy? (there are a ton of jokes in there -- but I'm going to avoid them)

Here's a tip: if you keep demeaning the moderate conservatives in this country, you may never get them back. Right now, there are a lot of moderates and independents who are sick and tired of this type of rhetoric. They might otherwise see your point-of-view on an issue such as Sotomayor's nomination -- but when you continue to talk this way, you alienate people. Particularly people who are not white.

Reverse racism. Give. Me. A. Break. Accusing the president of 'reverse racism' at the top of your lungs (or in front of an EIB microphone) does not make it so.

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Huckabee For Rubio

Okay... okay. We get it Governor Huckabee; you are not marching in lock-step with the conventional GOP:
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has rolled out a succession of endorsements from national Republicans since announcing his entrance into the 2010 Senate race.

Now his Republican primary rival, former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, has a national endorsement of his own from a conservative heavyweight: Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor will formally endorse Rubio in about two weeks, according to a Florida Republican familiar with the plans. The details of where the endorsement will take place have not been decided.
When it is all said and done, I'm not sure that Huckabee's endorsement carries much impact.

In other news -- I'm sure that Governor Huckabee would like you to refrain from calling him a 'conservative heavyweight'...

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Grooming Carrie Prejean


The Miss USA Runner-up gets her own show on Fox News in 3...2...1...

Head nod: MediaBistro

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Yowza! That's Quite A Duo

Bond + Wolverine = Awesome. Rowr:
Two major Hollywood box-office draws will join forces in the fall for a new Broadway play.

The New York Post reports that Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Daniel Craig (James Bond) will co-star in Keith Huff's A Steady Rain.
Be still my hetero-man-crush beating heart. That's probably too much sexy-man on one stage...

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If Rudy Ever Runs Again

This news will likely come back to bite him:
Former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik was indicted on charges of making false statements to White House officials vetting him for the secretary's seat at the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Kerik, who served as commissioner from 1998 to 2002, allegedly gave false and misleading answers to Bush administration officials about his relationship with contractors who renovated his Riverdale apartment, according to the indictment handed up by a Washington grand jury. Prosecutors allege Kerik received and concealed benefits of about $255,000 in renovations to his home from contractors seeking to do business with the city of New York.
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Moving Toward Marriage Equality

It's happening faster than you think.

First, let me say right up front, I think that yesterday, the Court made the correct decision. I know that may sound a little bit strange since I am an ardent supporter of marriage equality -- but nevertheless, that is my opinion. Here is why...

The ruling handed down from the California Supreme Court was not a decision on whether or not Proposition 8 (ugh) was right or wrong. The ruling was made to determine whether or not Proposition 8 was in line with California's state constitution. That is to say, 'is Proposition 8 legal?'

The obvious answer is yes. The proposition was on the ballot and the voters of the state passed it. Period. End of story. If the Court would have overturned a vote by the people of California, then we would have all been witness to a real threat to our democracy.

However, while proponents of marriage equality may not have liked the decision (because it upholds Prop 8), the silver lining in the Court's decision is that the 18,000+ same-sex marriages that were performed are still valid. In other words, marriage equality has made one small step forward.

Andrew Sullivan:
It would have been equally dreadful if those couples lawfully wed were subsequently forced into divorce by the court. And these married couples and their families and children will now become the focus of the debate in California, as they should be. They are the evidence that we are right: that extending the blessings and responsibilities of full family life to gay men and lesbians is a good and conservative and integrating thing. We need now to put these families forward as our core argument. Their lives are our best case. Like mixed-race married couples in another era, they will show that there is nothing to fear here and much to celebrate.
Dan Savage:
The anti-gay bigots said before the decision that they wanted Prop 8 upheld and they weren't concerned about the 18K gay couples who wed while same-sex marriage was briefly legal in CA. That exposes their fundamental dishonesty. If they believe, as they claimed during the campaign, that married same-sex couples are a threat to the family, a threat to children, an invitation to hurricanes and earthquakes and wildfires, and that the existence of married gay couples somehow requires homosexuality to be taught in schools, how can they be indifferent to 18K married gay couples rattling around the state? Won't all those bad things still happen?
Simply put: There are now 18,000 couples -- 36,000 people -- who have entered into marriage in California with a partner of the same gender. The whole country will be watching (some more closely than others) to see how the 'experiment' goes. And, you can be sure that the legal battle over marriage equality is not over. My guess is that you will see a new proposition on the California ballot in the very near future.

For some more truly spot-on analysis, check out John Culhan or Chris Geidner.

The California Supreme Court ruling:



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More Olympic Schwag


A very cool poster advertising Olympic Cycling. Credited to Alan Clarke.

Head nod: TYWKIWDBI

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Rahm Emanuel Is A Trained Triathlete

First, Barack Obama was your new bicycle.

Now, in that same spirit, we have Rahm Facts. My favorite (of the moment):
RAHM EMANUEL REFERS TO WASHINGTON AS "FUCKNUTSVILLE"
Now that's funny. And from what I gather, the 'facts' are all indeed true.

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A Happy Belated Blogiversary

To me. Kind of.

Yeah. So, you know how it is a male stereotype to forget anniversaries and important dates? I have officially lived up to that stereotype.

May 15th came and went and I didn't think twice about it. As I was perusing the archives this morning, I came across my post from May 15th of last year. My second blogiversary came and went without so much as a mention from me -- so now I'm mentioning it.

Thanks to all of the loyal readers out there -- and the new ones too!

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A Strong Case Against Sonia Sotomayor


Paul Levinson makes a very convincing argument:
I maintain that Sotomayor would still be a dangerous appointment to the Supreme Court.

She made a decision on the Appellate Court that did not strongly support the First Amendment. The Appellate is itself a higher court, just one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. Why appoint someone who made even one mistake there, in a position that in this situation is in effect an audition, a farm league, for the big time? Isn't performance on the Appellate Court the best possible gauge of performance on the Supreme Court? Are not the stakes on the Supreme Court just too high, too lasting, to take a chance on an Appellate judge with even just one bad decision?

If that is the case, then the only reason we could excuse a bad decision on the First Amendment would be if we don't hold the First Amendment to be what it is - not the Tenth, the Fourth, or even the Second Amendment, but the First or most primary amendment for protection of our freedoms. An amendment, moreover, whose protections for us are eroding daily, with the FCC levying millions of dollars of fines, and Congress calling out for FCC regulation of cable, etc. All of that can hang in the balance with this appointment.
I think that too many people are enamored with Sotomayor because of the historic nature of her nomination. It seems that all too often, people are blinded by the 'sideshow' and forget to actually look at the record.

As for me, my mind has yet to be made-up. I'm still gathering information on her and her opinions.

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26 May 2009

That Ruling In California


Don't worry -- I haven't forgotten about the Prop 8 business that went down today in California. I'm formulating my thoughts. Tomorrow, you shall see them.

Nooch.

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Tweet Of The Day II


"Win, lose or draw; that is one fun name to say. 'My name is Sonia Sotomayor. You killed my father. Prepare to die.'" -LessThanItTakes

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Reason #179 Why TV Is Better In Japan


Hard Gay Ramen Shop.

TFB posted this a while back and I got a kick out of it. The part with the kids is great...

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Mancow: Waterboarding Is 'Absolutely Torture'


It's tough to admit you were wrong -- especially with water being poured over your face:
Conservative radio talk show host "Mancow" -- real name Matthew Muller -- has changed his mind about waterboarding after letting himself be subjected to it during his morning show May 22.

[snip]

Mancow, who previously argued that waterboarding was not torture, came out of the demonstration -- after about five or six seconds -- with a much different opinion.
However, this reversal of opinion get some real dollars into the coffers of Veterans of Valor:
For his experience, Mancow picked up $10,000 for Veterans for Valor [sic] from Olbermann. Olbermann originally made the offer as a challenge to Sean Hannity, host of the Fox News show bearing his name. Hannity -- like Mancow -- has claimed that waterboarding is not torture, and on April 22 said he would agree to undergo waterboarding to raise money for a charity to benefit military families.

The next night, Olbermann pledged to donate $1,000 per second for however long Hannity could last under waterboarding. And if Hannity acknowledged afterward that it was torture, Olbermann said he would double the amount.

Hannity never responded to Olbermann's challenge. Repeated calls and emails from Military.com to Hannity to learn if he planned to take Olbermann up on his offer were not returned.

Olbermann, during his show May 22, said he would drop his challenge to Hannity because of what Mancow did. He is donating $10,000 to Veterans of Valor.
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Quote Of The Day II

"When you have a majority of Americans, seventy-something percent, saying we shouldn't torture, then I'm not sure it helps for the Vice President to go out and continue to espouse that position. But look, he's free to talk. He's a former Vice President of the United States. I just don't see where it helps... [Cheney] believes that waterboarding doesn't fall under the Geneva Conventions and that it's not a form of torture. But you know, it goes back to the Spanish Inquisition." -Senator John McCain

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Comparing Nancy Pelosi To A Bond Girl


Really? A comparison to 'Pussy Galore'?
She's the 69-year-old speaker of the House of Representatives, second in the line of succession and the most powerful woman in U.S. history.

But when you see Nancy Pelosi, the Republican National Committee wants you to think "Pussy Galore."

At least that's the takeaway from a video released by the committee this week - a video that puts Pelosi side-by-side with the aforementioned villainess from the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger".

The RNC video, which begins with the speaker’s head in the iconic spy-series gun sight, implies that Pelosi has used her feminine wiles to dodge the truth about whether or not she was briefed by the CIA on the use of waterboarding in 2002. While the P-word is never mentioned directly, in one section the speaker appears in a split screen alongside the Bond nemesis – and the video’s tagline is “Democrats Galore.”

The wisdom of equating the first woman speaker of the House with a character whose first name also happens to be among the most vulgar terms for a part of the female anatomy might be debated – if the RNC were willing to do so, which it was not. An RNC spokesperson refused repeated requests by POLITICO to explain the point of the video, or the intended connection between Pelosi and Galore.

[snip]

"It's an attempt to demean your opponent, rather than debate them. If they're serious that this is an issue of national security, then you'd think that one would want to debate it on the merits," she says. "It's almost as if they can't help themselves."
I'm not sure why I'm surprised anymore.

Identity politics + personal attacks = national political advertising.

I'm no fan of the Speaker -- but why not just run a simple ad that highlights your difference of opinion? Why add the John Barry music with imagery of the overtly sexist villianess 'Pussy Galore'? Did they not think this would raise an eyebrow or two?

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Profound Photograph


The caption from the photo:
President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own.
Stop and think about that for a minute. [my emphasis]

------
Photo: Official White House Photo/Pete Souza


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